Exhibition Catalogues

  • ISBN 0772760039, 35 pages, $5.00 | Ref #4699

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    Exhibited for the first time outside Italy, this unique collection of fifteenth-century woodcuts, mostly of Italian origin, from the Biblioteca Classense, the library founded by the Camaldolese monks of Classe, the old sea-port for Ravenna, is composed of single-sheet incunables. They had originally been interleaved among the legal texts owned by the notary, Jacopo Rubieri and are for the most part, hand-coloured, single-sheet woodblock prints, although the collection also contains four engravings and one metcalcut. The catalogue, by Robin Healey, won a first place award from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Sections of the American Library Association.

  • 978-0-7727-6123-1 (soft); 54 pages; $20

    This exhibition features photographs – some well known, others more obscure – from the Fisher’s Ginsberg Photography Collection, the largest collection of Ginsberg prints in the world. It traces Ginsberg’s friendships with the Beats, through to the period when he wrote his seminal work, “Howl,” along with exploring his photography from the mid-1980s up to his death in 1997. Complementing the photographs are a number of rare print materials from members of the Beats, including Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. Complementing the photographs will be a number of rare print materials from members of the Beats, including Kerouac, Burroughs and Gregory Corso, along with Ginsberg books and broadsides and materials that inspired him over his lifetime. 

  • ISBN 0772760462, 155 p, $20.00 | Ref. #7014

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    This exhibition celebrates gifts in Italian studies to the University of Toronto Library from 1890, when the original Library and its collections were destroyed by fire, to the present day, with the University’s collections fast approaching ten million books. Most of the books in the exhibition were printed between the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and are shown with some modern books, and with manuscripts, prints, and broadsides. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by Robin Healey, of the Collection Development Department, Robarts Research Library.

  • ISBN 0772760217 , 64 pages, $20.00

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    From Cavalcanti to Calvino, curated by Dr. Robin Healey, is constructed from printed books, drawn from the earliest as well as the most recent works of Italian literature and of its translators, and gathered examples both from the collections of the Thomas Fisher Library and from the Robarts Research Library, celebrating the influence of Italian literature on English literature, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The exhibition was intended as a testimony not only to the builders of the Library's collections, but also as evidence of the historical and continuing importance of Italian writing to English letters, and of Italian culture to the world.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6110-1; 95 pages, $25 | Ref. #7062

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    Since the earliest known works of literature three-thousand years ago, the vision for a better society, an ideal society, has driven and inspired cultures to improve their social conditions. These visions were written around themes of voyage and discovery, the classical age, and medieval Christianity, that culminated in Thomas More’s Utopia in 1516. Since More’s vision of the imaginary society on the island of Utopia, writers have envisioned practical societies that transform our economic, political, technological, and cultural infrastructures taking us to uncharted lands, distant planets, and unimaginable futures that challenge and alter our society’s foundations. These utopian, and sometimes dystopian, visions show us what our society could be like and how we could achieve it, for better or for worse. This exhibition will showcase a selection of these utopian and dystopian visions ranging from Plato’s Republic and Augustine’s City of God to Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Curated by Chris J. Young.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6105-7, 148 pages, $30.00 | Ref. #7057

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    The title of this exhibition, ‘Great and Manifold’, is drawn from the opening words of the dedicatory preface of the King James Bible of 1611, which offer hearty thanks for the succession of the Stuart King to the throne of England. As important as that event was to the life of the nation, the main concern of the translators was to remind the King that the Word was still living and active, an ‘inestimable treasure which excelleth all the riches of earth’. ‘Great and manifold’ have been the ways in which the English Scriptures have appeared for almost half a millennium now – and not only the Church, but the home, law courts, theatre, and literature are the beneficiaries. The exhibition is curated by Pearce Carefoote of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

    Please view the video below (or click on this link to access it from the Fisher's YouTube channel) to learn more about this exhibit. It is narrated by the curator P.J. Carefoote.

  • ISBN 0772760616, 152 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7039

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    This exhibition is about travellers, and the exhibits are for the most part accounts of their travels. There are few restrictions: the journeys will be to anywhere in the world, at any time from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries. Some of the books and maps were published as recently as this century, others were first printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The travellers’ tales were most often written down by the travellers themselves, or perhaps dictated to amanuenses, soon after their return. Not all are truthful, though most claim to be. One restriction is self-evident: for the journeys to have been recorded at all they must have been at least partly successful. The second restriction is more interesting: each of the explorers and cartographers is Italian, and they are all men — for the cultures of the times, even into the twentieth century, excluded Italian women from such ventures. But these were Italians who, though living at the centre of the Mediterranean region, with opportunities for trade, profit, and God’s work close by on every side, chose to cross the deserts, the oceans, and the mountains. Suffice to say that they did, and the world was changed, and they were rewarded.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6106-4; 32 pages, $15.00 | Ref. #7058

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    Widely recognized as one of the finest poets working in the English language today, Derek Walcott received the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature for his entire body of work, and specifically for his epic poem, Omeros. The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library first acquired a significant portion of the literary papers of Derek Walcott in 1997, comprised of his poetry, plays, storyboards, drawings, sketches and prose primarily from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. This exhibition highlights a broad selection of original archival material, from O Babylon! to Omeros, as well as other aspects of his life and work, including his painting and drawing. The exhibition and catalogue were prepared by Fisher Librarian, Jennifer Toews.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6108-8; 122 pages, $25 | Ref. #7060

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    Drawing on the rich printed and manuscript resources of the Fisher Library, this exhibition approaches horticultural history from the particular viewpoint of how people learn to cultivate plants – both historically and as individual gardeners today – and is divided into three main sections:

    (1) learning from the written word, beginning with the teachings of antiquity and moving on through five centuries of printed knowledge as recorded in books, periodicals and now online sources

    (2) learning from observing plants, in the wild, in public and private gardens and in botanical gardens and commercial nurseries

    (3) learning from our own experience as gardeners, as documented in the personal records of individual gardeners in their own plant lists, diaries and garden journals, and blogs.

    While the main focus is on historical material each of these sections will also make reference to modern examples, both British and Canadian, thereby demonstrating that all these modes of learning are as relevant today as they were in the past, and all have as their basis the love of plants and the universal human pleasure we take from them.

    Exhibition and accompanying catalogue by Anne Dondertman, Acting Director of the Fisher Library.

  • ISBN 0772760630, 114 pages, $30.00 | Ref. #7041

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    Bruce Rogers (1870-1957) designed about five hundred books between 1892 and 1957. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this great artisan’s death, the Fisher Library is proud to present not only Rogers’ prized ‘Thirty’, but a selection of his other works dating from the end of the nineteenth century through to the middle of the twentieth century. Thomas Schweitzer has provided a solid foundation for the Bruce Rogers collection at the Fisher, upon which the library has built, as recently as 2007 with the addition of Rogers’ masterpiece, the great Oxford Lectern Bible of 1935. His books have been consistently praised for their simplicity of design and elegance of execution.

  • ISBN 0772760306, 72 pages, $10.00 | Ref. #7027

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    In Honour of Our Friends is an exhibition celebrating four years of gifts to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, organized around a number of themes and subject areas, reflecting some outstanding new collections which have been recently established, as well as highlighting gifts which build on the Library's already established strengths in various disciplines. The chosen themes are: Hebraica (a new area of strength for this Library); Early Printed Books; Arts of the Book; the History of Science and Medicine; Exploration and Travel; English and American Literature (showing examples from several new author collections); and Canadiana. Included, among many other treasures, are: a fragment of the Mishnah written sometime from the ninth to the eleventh century; because the colophon is damaged the date cannot be accurately deciphered; an unsigned letter that could be in the hand of Galileo, written in 1633 while he was awaiting trial on a charge of heresy; and a proof copy of Robert Service's Songs of a Sourdough (1907).

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6107-1; 48 pages, $12 | Ref #7059

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    Ralph Stanton was a professor of mathematics at several Canadian universities. He was also an avid book collector, and without question he has been the single most prolific donor to the Fisher Library. Beginning with his first donation, a two-volume set of the 1587 edition of Holinshed's Chronicles in 1986, hundreds of volumes have been arriving annually from Winnipeg right up to the time of his passing in 2010.  His collection of French literature, particularly seventeenth- and eighteenth-century drama, is especially strong, and the Fisher now boasts comprehensive collections of most of the significant French playwrights of the Classical period. Professor Stanton has also donated a number of incunables and early printed books, many of which were exhibited. This exhibit was curated by Philip Oldfield, Pearce Carefoote and Luba Frastacky.

  • ISBN 0772760284, 70 pages, $30.00 | Ref #7006

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    Michael Wilcox is a master bookbinder who began his career in the English trade bindery in 1955. Now an internationally renowned binder whose works are found in many North American libraries, he has selected the twenty-two bindings that are currently on display in the Fisher Library. In the words of Richard Landon, director of the Fisher Library, the exhibition demonstrates "the marriage of inspired art with impeccable craftsmanship". The Library has brought together examples from its own collections and from many other North American libraries, including the National Library of Canada, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, the Lilly Library, the Grolier Club and a number of private collections, including the binder's own.

  • ISBN 077276011X, 72 pages, $10.00 | Ref. #7019

    Digitized material from the Tyrrell Collection/Order Catalogue
    This exhibition celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the amazing expedition across the Barren Lands of J. B. Tyrrell, geologist, engineer, businessman, palaeontologist, and historian and his small group of fellow explorers for the Geological Survey of Canada. Tyrrell joined the Geological Survey in 1881, going on his first field survey to the Rocky Mountains, with George Mercer Dawson in 1883. He discovered dinosaur remains in Alberta, explored Manitoba from 1887 to 1891. Lake Athabasca and then the Canadian North, in several trips to the Barren Lands in 1893 and 1894. The materials on display were selected by Katharine Martyn, curator of the exhibition, from the huge collection of papers and other materials Tyrrell left as a bequest to the University of Toronto Library.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6082-1; 112 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7055

    This catalogue is sold out.
    This exhibition highlighted the Eternal City as a prime destination for travellers. For centuries, Rome has attracted visitors from all walks of life ranging from religious pilgrims and young men taking the Grand Tour to architects, exiles and poets. The city's richness and continual self-renewal have ensured that Rome takes on new features for each generation of visitors. This is evident in the varied selection of material on display which included early pilgrimage guides from the sixteenth century, travel accounts and phrase-books published in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and view books and publishers' guides from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by guest curator Amy Marshall of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • ISBN 0772760284, 79 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7013

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    Produced to celebrate and honour the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Pre-Conference held in Toronto 17 to 20 June 2003, on the theme "TRUE/FALSE: Facsimiles, Fakes, Forgeries, and Issues of Authenticity in Special Collections" the exhibition covers various aspects of literary forgery (and one 'real' forgery) from Richard Bentley and the Epistles of Phalaris to the inventions of Thomas J. Wise and Harry Buxton Forman.The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by Richard Landon.

  • ISBN: 978-0-7727-6116-3 (paperback) | 120 pages | $25.00 | Ref. 7072

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    The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library holds some of the finest examples of modern Czech book design and illustration. This exhibition featured a display of books and journals published from the turn of the nineteenth century to the late 1940s, with examples ranging from the book beautiful (bibliophile) movement whose aesthetic principles were advanced by graphic artists Zdenka Braunerová, Vojtěch Preissig, František Kupka, and František Kobliha, to works by avant-garde artists and writers centered around the literary association Devětsil, including Karel Teige, Vítězslav Nezval, Jaroslav Seifert, and Toyen. Also covered are the various movements associated with this period, such as Symbolism, Decadence, Cubism, Constructivism, Poetism, and Surrealism. The exhibition focused on the development of book design in twentieth-century Czechoslovakia, primarily in Prague, and illustrated the developments in machine type, graphic design, book covers and binding, photomontage, and collage.

    The exhibition, curated by Ksenya Kiebuzinski, Head, Petro Jacyk Central & East European Resource Centre, ran from Sept. 28 to Dec. 18, 2015.

  • ISBN 077276039X, 103 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7004

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    This exhibition highlighted the Eternal City as a prime destination for travellers. For centuries, Rome has attracted visitors from all walks of life ranging from religious pilgrims and young men taking the Grand Tour to architects, exiles and poets. The city's richness and continual self-renewal have ensured that Rome takes on new features for each generation of visitors. This is evident in the varied selection of material on display which included early pilgrimage guides from the sixteenth century, travel accounts and phrase-books published in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and view books and publishers' guides from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by guest curator Amy Marshall of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • 978-0-7727-6124-8; 78 pages, $25

    This exhibition examined how the culinary culture of Toronto and surrounding areas was made and shaped by those who participated in or were excluded from the making and using of culinary materials. On display were many scarce items which are part of the Fisher collections due to the generous donations of Mary Williamson. Objects on display included a copy of the Frugal Housewife's Manual, the first cookbook written and published in Canada, posters advertising the beloved Canadian Cook Book, and an English curry bottle from the early 1900s. This exhibition was curated by Nathalie Cooke, Professor and Associate Dean (Library Rare and Special Collections), McGill University; Irina D. Mihalache, Assistant Professor, Museum Studies, Faculty of Information; and Elizabeth Ridolfo, Special Collections Projects Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

  • ISBN 978-0-7727-6120-0 (paperback) | 94 pages | $20.00 | Ref #: 7074

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    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is one of the few writers to have achieved equal distinction as both a novelist and a poet. He established his reputation in the Victorian period with such iconic novels as Far from the Madding CrowdThe Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, set in the semi-fictional world of “Wessex.” In 1897, embittered by critics who branded his last two novels “distasteful” and “obscene,” Hardy abandoned prose and devoted the remaining thirty years of his life to writing poetry.  By the time of his death, he was not only the last of the great Victorian novelists but had also become one of England's most important and influential modern poets.

    Drawing on the magnificent collection donated to the Fisher Library by the pre-eminent Hardy scholar and University of Toronto Professor Emeritus, Michael Millgate, this exhibition will include first editions, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs and ephemera illustrating Hardy’s professional and personal life.

  • 9780772761262 | 160 pages | $20

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    This exhibition showcases both the collecting and manuscript practices of naturalists and how books, in some instances, encased the specimens themselves. A special focus here is women practitioners of natural history -- as authors of and contributors to published works, and as artists and collectors.

  • ISBN 0772760519, 112 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7031

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    This exhibition of banned, censored, and challenged books places censorship in the West within the historical context of the last five hundred years. Essentially it asks visitors to imagine what their world would look like today if these texts had been successfully suppressed by legitimate authorities. The books on display fall into six basic categories: religion, science, philosophy, politics, literature, and works either by Canadians, or challenged by the Canadian government. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by Pearce Carefoote, of the Fisher Library, The illustrated catalogue includes prefaces written by Alberto Manguel and Richard Landon, Director of the Library and was designed by Stan Bevington, and printed by Coach House Press.

  • ISBN 0772760500, 80 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7030

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    This exhibition highlights the original photographic images used in the pages of NOW Magazine, and currently housed in the NOW Magazine Collection in Media Commons, University of Toronto Library. Focussing on the decade of the 1980s, the array of images revisits some of the more striking, humorous, insightful, aesthetically appealing and historically important moments in the fields of popular music, art, theatre, cinema, fashion, politics and protest.

  • ISBN 0-7727-6047-0, 128 pages, $20.00 | Ref. #7028

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    This exhibition introduces the philosophy collection of Michael and Virginia Walsh, their gift to the University of Toronto Library. The books on display were printed between the fifteenth and the twentieth centuries, and are shown with numerous artworks on loan from the Walsh family. The collection itself covers the broad scope of philosophical pursuits, from the Platonists to the Scholastics, the Cartesians, Humanists, Logical Positivists, to the Empiricists of the twentieth century. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue were prepared by Michael Walsh.

  • ISBN 0772760101, 69 pages, $15.00 | Ref. #7018

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    Mounted in recognition of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Charles Dickens' visit to Canada, the exhibition illustrates items from the collection of the Toronto bibliophile, Dan Calinescu. Profusely illustrated, the catalogue, by Dan Calinescu and Richard Landon, contains chapters on "Dickens and America", "Dickens and his Publishers", "Dickens and his Illustrators", and examinations of his major and minor works.